CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, today thanked Gov. Jim Justice for embracing House Republicans’ long-standing desire to tap unused money in state agency accounts to close the state’s budget gap.
“The Republican caucus in the Legislature has been fighting for years to get the executive branch to use the cash they already have on hand to help solve the state’s budget problems instead of passing the buck on to our struggling taxpayers,” Speaker Armstead said. “This would have been done sooner had we not had significant push back from agency bureaucrats and the Governor’s office.”
Last year, the House passed bills to sweep more than $83 million from the then-$389 million in agency accounts to help close the budget, though those bills were either significantly pared down or did not become law. Additional sweeps were proposed during the Special Session process, but the executive branch pushed back against those proposals, claiming the sweeps would cripple their ongoing operations.
“We in the Legislature are committed to getting government spending under control and honoring our constituents’ outcries to cut government waste,” Speaker Armstead said. “Using money that’s already on hand is something this Governor should have proposed before calling for the largest tax increase in the state’s history and asking to raid our Rainy Day Fund by $120 million. We welcome him to our way of thinking, even though he’s getting here a little late.”